A reaction to the events in Charlottesville

The ideas and viewpoints expressed in the posts on the Ideas and Creations blog are solely the view of the author(s). Luther College's mission statement calls us to "embrace diversity and challenge one another to learn in community," and to be "enlivened and transformed by encounters with one another, by the exchange of ideas, and by the life of faith and learning." Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends of the college are encouraged to express their views, model "good disagreement" and engage in respectful dialogue.

On Aug. 11-12, groups of mostly white men gathered in Charlottesville, Virginia, to march with torches and shout declarations of white supremacy. In the ensuing counter-protest, many were injured, and one young woman and two Virginia state troopers were killed. I have lived in Charlottesville, my wife grew up there, and our family has visited many times. This tragedy shook us to the core. For some reason, Oscar Peterson's great Civil Rights Era anthem, "Hymn to Freedom," repeatedly played in my mind as I read about the events of the weekend and saw photos. I decided to compose a piano solo based on Peterson's music; it is a tribute to those who stand up to hatred and fearmongering.

Brooke Joyce

Brooke Joyce

Brooke Joyce is associate professor of music and composer-in-residence at Luther College. Joyce's music has been described as "vividly pictorial" by the San Francisco Chronicle and "exceptionally gripping" by the Los Angeles Times. His works have been performed by soloists and ensembles around the world, including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, the Brentano Quartet and tenor James Gilchrist.

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